Beggars crackdown in Hull's Avenues sees 'persistent problem' tackled
BEGGARS in the Avenues have been reduced since an initiative urging traders to report problems was launched.
The police recently circulated a list of prolific beggars to shops and businesses in the Princes Avenue and Chanterlands Avenue area.
PC Simon Cherry, based in Pearson Park, said: "There's no persistent problems at the moment, which we did have.
"That letter seems to have done the trick."
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One of the known beggars on the list, Christopher Winn, was given an Asbo in December.
Adrian Friedli, chairman of the Princes Avenue Community and Traders Association, said: "I know that, in the recent past, it has been an intermittent problem.
"I've not had any other traders approach me about it, so it has improved."
Vicky Reynolds, manager of The Olive Tree, said: "I've noticed a decrease, I haven't seen anyone recently."
Although the overall number has reduced, the police are remaining vigilant.
A beggar had to be moved on by police last Saturday from outside Sainsbury's in Princes Avenue.
The shop has a cash machine outside and has had previous problems with beggars loitering.
A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "From time to time, there are people outside the store who ask for money but we haven't seen an increase in this."
Sergeant Adrian Marsden, also based at Pearson Park, said: "Beggars are chancing their arm to see whether they'll get moved along.
"They may see it that the area isn't policed as well as the city centre but they're wrong."
Sgt Marsden said that there has been a law banning begging since the 1800s.
He said: "There's an attitude that if they're not asking for money, they're not begging.
"But if they're sitting there looking forlorn with a blanket across their lap, that still constitutes begging."
The letter with the list of names instructed business owners who receive complaints from customers to record their contact details and pass them on to the police.
There needs to be complaints logged from more than two separate occasions to give a beggar an Asbo.
Sgt Marsden said: "We want to keep a lid on."
He said that although it will never stop completely, he is committed to making it a safe place for shopping and for the local residents.
Anyone wishing to report a beggar should call Humberside Police on 101.